Officials have halted the planned rollout of universal credit into North Kensington, west London, next month, saying they want jobcentre staff to focus on supporting claimants affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.
Universal credit, which pulls together six separate benefits into one monthly payment, has been dogged by criticism that design flaws and payment delays were causing low-income claimants to run up rent arrears and rely on food banks.
Kensington and Chelsea was due to move to the “full service” digital-only universal credit on 19 July as part of the wider phasing in of the system across the UK by 2018, but the Department for Work and Pensions said the North Kensington jobcentre would now be excluded.
It is understood that DWP officials were nervous that any disruption to benefits caused by teething problems associated with the new system would cause extra difficulties for local claimants already coping with…
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